What did our founders really mean when they said “general welfare”?

dblack

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IMHO, general welfare means everybody. It means you don't benefit one group but not another, whether it's by state, race, religion, gender, or any other discriminator. It does NOT mean equal outcomes.
When they wrote that general welfare meant the general welfare of whites only.
But that changed.

Several years ago I visited Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's estate in Virginia. I was impressed that they didn't shy away from the obvious contradiction of Jefferson's life. The man who laid down perhaps the most eloquent and persuasive defense of individual liberty, was a slave owner. I mulled over it for some time, but came away with a renewed appreciation for the power of ideas. Jefferson's convictions about the value of individual liberty were, ultimately, at the heart of the movement to abolish slavery - the very institution that propped him up and made him a wealthy, influential person in the new republic.

What I took away from this was a new appreciation for the power of ideas. Ideas and ideals can transcend, even contradict, the circumstances and trappings of those who carry them. Jefferson's logical conclusions about the morality and justice of individual liberty eventually undid the very social structure which propped him up. I find that really beautiful and inspiring.
 

Supposn

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When I clicked into this thread, I read what I consider to be Daniel Palos’s excellent response to this thread’s initial post. But when I logged in to acknowledge and thank Daniel, his post, which was #2 of this thread, was gone from my screen. What happened to Daniel’s post?
Respectfully, Supposn
 

IM2

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IMHO, general welfare means everybody. It means you don't benefit one group but not another, whether it's by state, race, religion, gender, or any other discriminator. It does NOT mean equal outcomes.
When they wrote that general welfare meant the general welfare of whites only.
But that changed.

Several years ago I visited Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's estate in Virginia. I was impressed that they didn't shy away from the obvious contradiction of Jefferson's life. The man who laid down perhaps the most eloquent and persuasive defense of individual liberty, was a slave owner. I mulled over it for some time, but came away with a renewed appreciation for the power of ideas. Jefferson's convictions about the value of individual liberty were, ultimately, at the heart of the movement to abolish slavery - the very institution that propped him up and made him a wealthy, influential person in the new republic.

What I took away from this was a new appreciation for the power of ideas. Ideas and ideals can transcend, even contradict, the circumstances and trappings of those who carry them. Jefferson's logical conclusions about the morality and justice of individual liberty eventually undid the very social structure which propped him up. I find that really beautiful and inspiring.
I'm glad you can see it that way but I can't. If he believed in those ideas so strongly, he would have made slavery unconstitutional at the writing of the document. But he didn't. Furthermore he participated in slave breeding, which was a particularly depraved business. So basically until 1964, general welfare explicitly meant the general welfare of whites.
 

Leo123

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When I clicked into this thread, I read what I consider to be Daniel Palos’s excellent response to this thread’s initial post. But when I logged in to acknowledge and thank Daniel, his post, which was #2 of this thread, was gone from my screen. What happened to Daniel’s post?
Respectfully, Supposn
I still see it.
 

Leo123

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Some people don’t have children, some old people don’t need medical insurance.
But public education and medical care for old people are best for a society as a whole.
Each member of society doesn’t benefit the same
People have equal opportunity, if they don't avail themselves of that opportunity it's on them.
 

Supposn

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When I clicked into this thread, I read what I consider to be Daniel Palos’s excellent response to this thread’s initial post. But when I logged in to acknowledge and thank Daniel, his post, which was #2 of this thread, was gone from my screen. What happened to Daniel’s post?
Respectfully, Supposn
Daniel’s post #2, which I consider to be an excellently succinct response to this thread’s initial post was: What did our founders really mean when they said “general welfare”?
we should compare and contrast with terms our Founding Fathers did not use; the general warfare or the common offense.
 

Jim H - VA USA

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If you voted for Trump there’s a good chance you’re a lot like me with regard to why....I voted for him on two policies almost exclusively...First and foremost on how he would deal with illegal Mexicans and the border and second on how he would yank lowlifes off the Democrat induced welfare plantation.
Anyhoo, as we approach the point where welfare reform will be visited I ask for your opinions on EXACTLY what you think our founders meant when they used the phrase “GENERAL WELFARE” in the constitution?

Attention all Smartest Guys In The Room, and legal scholars:
Please spare us the case citations such as the U.S. vs Butler case and the like. I’m interested in YOUR opinions.
My general welfare includes my ability to pursue happiness, support my family, be free from oppression from a totalitarian government, and protect my family from foreign invasion and rampant crime.

I suppose general welfare would also include things like ensuring a relatively peaceful society by establishing law and order, building infrastructure like roads and bridges to allow freedom to travel, providing for national defense, and establishing policies that promote one's ability to secure basic necessities like ample food supply, housing, right to bear arms, and even necessary regulations regarding things that have significant safety and national security concerns.

General welfare certainly does not mean guaranteed free stuff.

It also certainly does not mean things like guaranteed universal income or heavy welfare benefits, which is completely counter-productive long-term with regard to general welfare, as it approaches full-blown Socialism. Just look at Venezuela, which has the largest proven oil reserves in the world, yet its people are starving.

Basically, if you reward undesirable behavior, you get more of it. It's universally true, as is the converse.
 

Supposn

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When I clicked into this thread, I read what I consider to be Daniel Palos’s excellent response to this thread’s initial post. But when I logged in to acknowledge and thank Daniel, his post, which was #2 of this thread, was gone from my screen. What happened to Daniel’s post?
Respectfully, Supposn
I still see it.
Leo123, I just scanned back to this thread’s first page. I still see post #1 followed by post #3. There’s no Daniel Palos post #2 on my computer screen?
Respectfully, Supposn
 

Leo123

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When I clicked into this thread, I read what I consider to be Daniel Palos’s excellent response to this thread’s initial post. But when I logged in to acknowledge and thank Daniel, his post, which was #2 of this thread, was gone from my screen. What happened to Daniel’s post?
Respectfully, Supposn
I still see it.
Leo123, I just scanned back to this thread’s first page. I still see post #1 followed by post #3. There’s no Daniel Palos post #2 on my computer screen?
Respectfully, Supposn
we should compare and contrast with terms our Founding Fathers did not use; the general warfare or the common offense.
That is post #2 on my screen right now.
 

Flopper

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If you voted for Trump there’s a good chance you’re a lot like me with regard to why....I voted for him on two policies almost exclusively...First and foremost on how he would deal with illegal Mexicans and the border and second on how he would yank lowlifes off the Democrat induced welfare plantation.
Anyhoo, as we approach the point where welfare reform will be visited I ask for your opinions on EXACTLY what you think our founders meant when they used the phrase “GENERAL WELFARE” in the constitution?

Attention all Smartest Guys In The Room, and legal scholars:
Please spare us the case citations such as the U.S. vs Butler case and the like. I’m interested in YOUR opinions.
Providing for general welfare of the public is the goal of government. It's specific meaning to the founders, it's meaning to the public today, and it's meaning a hundred years from now will not be the same because the world of the founders, the world of today, and the world of the future will not be same.
 
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BrokeLoser

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If you voted for Trump there’s a good chance you’re a lot like me with regard to why....I voted for him on two policies almost exclusively...First and foremost on how he would deal with illegal Mexicans and the border and second on how he would yank lowlifes off the Democrat induced welfare plantation.
Anyhoo, as we approach the point where welfare reform will be visited I ask for your opinions on EXACTLY what you think our founders meant when they used the phrase “GENERAL WELFARE” in the constitution?

Attention all Smartest Guys In The Room, and legal scholars:
Please spare us the case citations such as the U.S. vs Butler case and the like. I’m interested in YOUR opinions.
Providing for general welfare of the public is the goal of government. It's specific meaning to the founders, it's meaning to the public today, and it's meaning a hundred years from now will not be the same because the world of the founders, the world of today, and the world of the future will not be same.
Your post wreaks of Leftist spin...”GENERAL WELFARE” in its context will never change. The framers were very clear.
Nobody sane can spin “promote the GENERAL WELFARE” into anything other than its original intent.
 

Flopper

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If you voted for Trump there’s a good chance you’re a lot like me with regard to why....I voted for him on two policies almost exclusively...First and foremost on how he would deal with illegal Mexicans and the border and second on how he would yank lowlifes off the Democrat induced welfare plantation.
Anyhoo, as we approach the point where welfare reform will be visited I ask for your opinions on EXACTLY what you think our founders meant when they used the phrase “GENERAL WELFARE” in the constitution?

Attention all Smartest Guys In The Room, and legal scholars:
Please spare us the case citations such as the U.S. vs Butler case and the like. I’m interested in YOUR opinions.
Providing for general welfare of the public is the goal of government. It's specific meaning to the founders, it's meaning to the public today, and it's meaning a hundred years from now will not be the same because the world of the founders, the world of today, and the world of the future will not be same.
Your post wreaks of Leftist spin...”GENERAL WELFARE” in its context will never change. The framers were very clear.
Nobody sane can spin “promote the GENERAL WELFARE” into anything other than its original intent.
According to he Webster dictionary of 1828, the meaning of welfare was the exemption from misfortune, sickness, calamity or evil; the enjoyment of health and the common blessings of life; prosperity; happiness; applied to persons. I would say the clause would means the same to people today but what has change is how people define exemption from sickness and calamity, and the blessing of prosperity and happiness. Today that would mean healthcare and financial assistance in times of diester, and more equality in income.
 

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we should compare and contrast with terms our Founding Fathers did not use; the general warfare or the common offense.
BrokeLoser, I cannot improve upon Daniel Palos’s succinct response. But I question the cognizance, and/or logic, and/or the decency of anyone’s character, who doesn’t believe population’s general welfare should be of governments’ concerns.

Respectfully, Supposn
 

BS Filter

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“General Welfare“ is quite simple

Do what is best for We the People
Yes, what's best for ALL the people.
No legislation helps all people equally
It should.
How does public education help all people equally?
How does Medicare help everyone equally?
Isn't public education available to every child? Isn't Medicare available to every retiree?
Some people don’t have children, some old people don’t need medical insurance.
But public education and medical care for old people are best for a society as a whole.
Each member of society doesn’t benefit the same
So?
 

Supposn

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BrokeLoser, proponents of our federal minimum wage rate laws point to (Article VI, Clause 2), “all laws enacted by the state governments must comply with the Constitution, and that whenever a law enacted by a state conflicts with a federal law, the federal law must be applied”; the words “provide for the common defense and general welfare” which appear within the constitution’s preamble and again within section 8 of the constitution’s first article which is entirely devoted to the powers of congress; and the last word of article 1, section 8, “To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof”.
Respectfully, Supposn
 
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BrokeLoser

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we should compare and contrast with terms our Founding Fathers did not use; the general warfare or the common offense.
BrokeLoser, I cannot improve upon Daniel Palos’s succinct response. But I question the cognizance, and/or logic, and/or the decency of anyone’s character, who doesn’t believe population’s general welfare should be of governments’ concerns.

Respectfully, Supposn
I think you may have self manipulated.
You see, nobody said the GENERAL WELFARE of the citizenry shouldn’t be the concern of government...quite the contrary actually, I have said Father Government should be concerned with the GENERAL WELFARE of the citizenry and not the WELFARE of factions within the citizenry.
 

Ringtone

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Before Republicans comment on such topics they need to catch up to reality.

Red states are economic basketcases for following failed conservative policies for the last 150 years.

Most of them are horribly polluted and dangerous to raise children in because of the nasty pollution.

Then there’s the lack of education.

In fact it’s so bad in so many red states that in the entire Appalachian area infant mortality rates are rising and life expectancy is falling.

Republican conservatism is not really a failed policy. It’s a disguised policy. The whole point of it is to fuk most Americans and everything they do is aimed at helping needy billionaires.

So is it LSD that's got you talking madness?
 

jackflash

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If you voted for Trump there’s a good chance you’re a lot like me with regard to why....I voted for him on two policies almost exclusively...First and foremost on how he would deal with illegal Mexicans and the border and second on how he would yank lowlifes off the Democrat induced welfare plantation.
Anyhoo, as we approach the point where welfare reform will be visited I ask for your opinions on EXACTLY what you think our founders meant when they used the phrase “GENERAL WELFARE” in the constitution?

Attention all Smartest Guys In The Room, and legal scholars:
Please spare us the case citations such as the U.S. vs Butler case and the like. I’m interested in YOUR opinions.
To get what general welfare meant to our founding fathers one would have to ask BLM &/or antifa for the exact intent our founding fathers meant @ the time!
 

dblack

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IMHO, general welfare means everybody. It means you don't benefit one group but not another, whether it's by state, race, religion, gender, or any other discriminator. It does NOT mean equal outcomes.
When they wrote that general welfare meant the general welfare of whites only.
But that changed.

Several years ago I visited Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's estate in Virginia. I was impressed that they didn't shy away from the obvious contradiction of Jefferson's life. The man who laid down perhaps the most eloquent and persuasive defense of individual liberty, was a slave owner. I mulled over it for some time, but came away with a renewed appreciation for the power of ideas. Jefferson's convictions about the value of individual liberty were, ultimately, at the heart of the movement to abolish slavery - the very institution that propped him up and made him a wealthy, influential person in the new republic.

What I took away from this was a new appreciation for the power of ideas. Ideas and ideals can transcend, even contradict, the circumstances and trappings of those who carry them. Jefferson's logical conclusions about the morality and justice of individual liberty eventually undid the very social structure which propped him up. I find that really beautiful and inspiring.
I'm glad you can see it that way but I can't. If he believed in those ideas so strongly, he would have made slavery unconstitutional at the writing of the document. But he didn't. Furthermore he participated in slave breeding, which was a particularly depraved business. So basically until 1964, general welfare explicitly meant the general welfare of whites.
You're missing my point. I'm not defending Jefferson. I'm pointing out the strength of ideas over individuals. The idea of "liberty for all" overcame Jefferson's personal faults. It outlived him and eventually changed the world for the better.
 

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